Mormon Choir and Glendale Youth Orchestra perform together for first time at the Alex Theatre.

Heavenly harmony
Mormon Choir and Glendale Youth Orchestra perform together for first time at the Alex Theatre.

By Ani Amirkhanian

Glendale News Press

The Glendale Youth Orchestra and Southern California Mormon Choir are joining forces for the first time for a one-night performance Tuesday at the Alex Theatre.

The concert will feature about 70 members of the 54-year-old choir and the orchestra’s 37 young musicians who range in ages 11 to 18.

“The choir sounds awesome, and the orchestra is amazing,” conductor Brad Keimach said.

The choir decided to collaborate with the youngsters after a couple of members came to hear the orchestra perform, Keimach said.

“We had several members of the Southern California Mormon Choir come to hear us in concert, and after that we got their enthusiastic stamp of approval, and it was time to start preparing,” he said.

The Glendale Youth Orchestra will perform Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Symphony No. 35 in D for the first half of the program. The choir will join the orchestra during the second half for a performance of George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah.”

“The members love the idea of performing with Glendale Youth Orchestra,” said Jan Bills, associate conductor of the Mormon Choir. “They play challenging music. These kids are in that caliber.”

Both the orchestra and chorus have rehearsed independently for the upcoming concert, Bills said.

“Brad has come to one of our rehearsals, and he has such a wonderful rapport with the orchestra members,” Bills said.

For some of the young musicians, performing with a choir for the first time brings out mixed feelings.

“I’m really excited because it’s my first time playing with the chorus,” 16-year-old Katherine Park said. “They sound pretty good, and I’m happy about that. I’m proud to be playing with them.”

Katherine, a Glendale resident and cellist, also plays for the Hoover High School orchestra.

But others, including 11-year-old Alyssa Quiogue, are a bit more anxious.

Alyssa, a Burbank resident, is the assistant concertmaster and the youngest member of the orchestra. She has been playing the violin since she was 7 years old.

“It seems good, and I feel a little nervous because I have never played with another group before,” Alyssa said. “I think I’ve heard lots of good things from Brad. They sing really well.”